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Thank you from AUA: Mining Pollution Testing Equipment Fundraising Goals Exceeded

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On November 14, 2014, ONEArmenia completed a 43-day crowdfunding marathon for the purchase of mining pollution testing equipment that will be housed and used by the American University of Armenia (AUA)’s Center for Responsible Mining.

Through the generosity of close to 300 donors, we raised $31,300, exceeding our target by $1,650. It is hard to put in words how grateful we are for the trust our donors have placed in us.

The crowdfunding campaign was part of a larger $76,000 campaign that would enable purchase of portable and stationary lab equipment and supplies for toxic pollution testing in mining communities. To meet the larger fundraising goal, the international community and the diaspora also stepped in with significant support.

The international organizations contributing to our larger campaign included the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, British Embassy Yerevan, and United Nations Development Programme. In addition, Ms. Linda Shahinian from California and the Acopian Family from Pennsylvania made generous donations to this important effort.

Our success with the crowdfunding campaign is in great part due to ONEArmenia’s dedicated team that brought irreplaceable experience and skills launching and managing this campaign. ONEArmenia not only raised funds but also helped raise awareness on the critical issue of mining pollution in Armenia.

Moreover, none of this would have been possible without the monumental efforts of Mr. John Heffern, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, who rallied support from all fronts. He reached out to his friends, to international donors, and to environmental organizations inside and outside of Armenia encouraging them to spread the word. His energy and enthusiasm has been endless, pushing us to expect more from ourselves and aim higher.

With the success of this campaign, communities will now have the tools to independently monitor the levels of toxic, heavy metal pollution in their soil and water. The AUA Center for Responsible Mining will be ready to help them use science and objective analytics to identify and manage their public health and environmental risks. All donors to this campaign, be it with their $5 or $20,000, have collectively made it possible for communities in Armenia to do this.

With deep gratitude,
Alen Amirkhanian
Interim Director, AUA Center for Responsible Mining
Director, AUA Acopian Center for the Environment

The American University of Armenia Center for Responsible Mining (AUA CRM) promotes the creation as well as transfer and adoption in Armenia of best practices in socially, environmentally, and economically responsible mining. AUA CRM works with companies, civil society, and the public sector to achieve this goal. crm.aua.am

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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